Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's dia...

Title:Gone Girl
Author:
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Edition Language:English

Gone Girl Reviews

  • Tatiana

    As seen on

    I am giving

    3 stars, but only begrudgingly. In my mind, any book that takes me 3 months and 20 different tries to read is not worth 3 (i-liked-it on Goodreads) stars, especially a book written by an author I already respect. And I am not kidding, for me the first half of

    was a PURE TORTURE to read.

    Amy Dunn disappears on the day of her 5th wedding anniversary. All gradually uncovered evidence suggests that her husband, Nick, is somehow involved. Did

    As seen on

    I am giving

    3 stars, but only begrudgingly. In my mind, any book that takes me 3 months and 20 different tries to read is not worth 3 (i-liked-it on Goodreads) stars, especially a book written by an author I already respect. And I am not kidding, for me the first half of

    was a PURE TORTURE to read.

    Amy Dunn disappears on the day of her 5th wedding anniversary. All gradually uncovered evidence suggests that her husband, Nick, is somehow involved. Did he kill her? Was she kidnapped? What happened to Amy? One thing is clear, Nick and Amy's marriage wasn't as perfect as everybody thought.

    The first part of the novel is all about the investigation into Amy's disappearance, slow unraveling of Nick's dirty secrets, reminiscing about the troubled history of Nick and Amy's marriage as told in Amy's hidden diary. I strained and strained my brain trying to understand why this chunk of Gone Girl had no appeal to me whatsoever. The only answer I have is this: I am really not into reading about rich white people's problems. You want to whine to me about your dwindling trust fund? Losing your cushy New York job? Moving south and "only" renting a mansion there? Being unhappy because you have too much free time on your hands and you are used to only work as a hobby? You want to make fun of your lowly, un-posh neighbors and their casseroles? Well, I am not interested. I'd rather read about someone not necessarily likable, but at least worthy of my empathy, not waste my time on self-centered, spoiled, pathetic people who don't know what real problems are. Granted, characters in Flynn's previous novels (

    and

    ) are pretty pathetic and and at times revolting too, but I always felt some strange empathy towards them, not annoyance and boredom, like I felt reading about Amy and Nick's marriage woes.

    But then second part, with its wicked twist, changed everything. The story became much more exciting, dangerous and deranged. The main characters revealed sides to them that were quite shocking and VERY entertaining. I thought the Gillian Flynn I knew before finally unleashed her talent for writing utterly unlikable and crafty women. THEN I got invested in the story, THEN I cared.

    Was it too little too late though? I think it was. Something needed to be done to make

    a better read. Make it shorter? Cut out first part completely? I don't know. But because of my uneven experience with this novel I won't be able to recommend

    as readily as I did Flynn's earlier novels, even though I think this horror marriage story (it's not a true mystery, IMO) has some brilliantly written psycho goodness in it and an absolutely messed up ending that many loathed but I LOVED. I wish it didn't take so much time and patience to get to all of that...

  • Lisa B.

    This book was just way too much fun – and I mean that in a good way. I’m taking a leisurely drive down the garden path of the story, when BAM – right in the middle it makes a u-turn and we are on the damn highway doing 90 miles an hour (commonly referred to as a plot twist). Sweet Mother of Mercy!

    There is not much to say without the risk of giving up some detail that’s best left secret. Soooo many time I wanted to just take one little peek at the end to see what happens to Nick and Amy. But I di

    This book was just way too much fun – and I mean that in a good way. I’m taking a leisurely drive down the garden path of the story, when BAM – right in the middle it makes a u-turn and we are on the damn highway doing 90 miles an hour (commonly referred to as a plot twist). Sweet Mother of Mercy!

    There is not much to say without the risk of giving up some detail that’s best left secret. Soooo many time I wanted to just take one little peek at the end to see what happens to Nick and Amy. But I didn’t. I survived the heart pounding suspense and made it to the end of a very satisfying read.

    I must, must must check out more books by Ms. Flynn

    See all my reviews here:

  • Stephanie Sun

    I'm pretty selective about new releases, but

    's opening (about a man studying his wife's skull in bed) and unique alternating POV structure promised a kind of He Said, She Said

    , a

    with a sense of humor. I did really like the structure, along with some of the zingers, and some of the saucier images, but that's about it.

    From the Kushner epigraph to the name checking of Noel Coward on page 68 to the use of Pygmalion as a verb 20 pages after that (

    I'm pretty selective about new releases, but

    's opening (about a man studying his wife's skull in bed) and unique alternating POV structure promised a kind of He Said, She Said

    , a

    with a sense of humor. I did really like the structure, along with some of the zingers, and some of the saucier images, but that's about it.

    From the Kushner epigraph to the name checking of Noel Coward on page 68 to the use of Pygmalion as a verb 20 pages after that (a synonym for

    , apparently), Flynn signals that she aims to create that most perverse of marriages here: a literary beach read. Instead of the best of both worlds,

    is the worst of both worlds: as pretentious and unnecessarily meta and overwritten as the worst overhyped literary debut and with dialogue and characters as cartoonish and trite and exposition-anvil-filled as your average suspense hack job.

    The absolute most offensive thing about

    , however, is how in love with being "dark" it is. It thinks it is so deep, so much better than say, chick lit, because it is about LIFE and DEATH and love as a prison sentence not rings and proposals and love as the solution to everything. But in staging itself, very Amy-like, so carefully in opposition to the thing it hates, it of course does not rise above chick lit, it just becomes psycho chick lit. Which may be different, I'll give it that, but it is not better.

    This is not good. Do not read this.

  • Nicholas Sparks

    Quite simply, this is one of the best novels of the year. It's a thriller in the best tradition of Alfred Hitchcock and layered with brilliantly written characters; it's the kind of book that's nearly impossible to put down. The surprises and twists keep the reader guessing up until the final page, and my first thought upon finishing the novel was that I wanted to read it a second time.

  • Shelley

    This book is such a steaming pile of shit for so many reasons and hands down the worst book I have ever read.

    There is a huge cloud of smug over Gone Girl. This was such an unpleasant read that I started taking notes of all the ridiculous parts. It also didn't help matters that I figured out the ending before page 100.

    There are lots and lots of f-bombs and swearing which says a lot since I cuss like a sailor. For me to pick up on that means it's excessive and adds nothing to the story. Then ther

    This book is such a steaming pile of shit for so many reasons and hands down the worst book I have ever read.

    There is a huge cloud of smug over Gone Girl. This was such an unpleasant read that I started taking notes of all the ridiculous parts. It also didn't help matters that I figured out the ending before page 100.

    There are lots and lots of f-bombs and swearing which says a lot since I cuss like a sailor. For me to pick up on that means it's excessive and adds nothing to the story. Then there's the issue with our characters. The husband is Captain Douchebag and the wife is beyond batshit crazy. The story of a missing wife gets so ridiculous and over the top that the ending could only be equally as absurd.

    Things I absolutely loathed about the book:

    using The Giving Tree as a verb

    redneck stereotypes like catfish gigging with dry cat food

    repeated mentions of having the emotional bends

    repeated mentions of characters having a vaginal smell

    page 67 where "Nick got home just after four, a bulb of beer and cigarettes and fried-egg odor attached to him, a placenta of stink."

    the sister's name being Go

    the book's smugness.

    Had I not borrowed the book, I would have stabbed the shit out of it with scissors.

    If you want to read a book about a miserable married couple, read Revolutionary Road. The writing is a million times better.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh, COME ON.

    Everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE ) loves this hateful book? Kind of makes me weep for the future. It's not even all that clever. It must be the depravity of it all. Suckers.

    AND, If I ever read the words *fucking bitch* again it will be too soon.

  • Richard Derus

    ***MORE MOVIE NEWS***

    that Neil Patrick Harris will play Amy's creepy ex, Desi, and Tyler Perry will play Ben Affleck/Nick's scumbag lawyer. If this thing isn't a blockbuster, I'll eat my hat.

    ***UPDATE 7/25/2013***

    Amy Dunne's role in the film offered to

    , whoever she might be. Good role for any actress as it's a potential star-maker.

    ***GONE GIRL CUPCAKES***

    *****UPDATE 3/26/2013*****

    See bottom of review. I think I need to re-think this oppositional review.

    ***UPDAT

    ***MORE MOVIE NEWS***

    that Neil Patrick Harris will play Amy's creepy ex, Desi, and Tyler Perry will play Ben Affleck/Nick's scumbag lawyer. If this thing isn't a blockbuster, I'll eat my hat.

    ***UPDATE 7/25/2013***

    Amy Dunne's role in the film offered to

    , whoever she might be. Good role for any actress as it's a potential star-maker.

    ***GONE GIRL CUPCAKES***

    *****UPDATE 3/26/2013*****

    See bottom of review. I think I need to re-think this oppositional review.

    ***UPDATE 3/31/2013***

    See

    ...not changing my mind about the book, remaining open to the writer's work.

    Rating: 0.5* of five

    : The book description says:

    Marriage can be a real killer. 

       One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.”Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. 

       On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 

       As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

       With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

    : I HATED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK FROM ITS SNARKTASTIC SMUG SNOTTY STRAIGHT PEOPLE TO ITS PLOT THAT MADE ME HOMICIDALLY FURIOUS.

    I wish only the worst commercial luck for it, its movie, its author, its publisher, its publicist, its director, its producer, its screenwriter, and its legion of woman and crypto-woman fans.

    Edited to add: See comment #3 below for a fuller examination of the sources of my discontent.

    *************************

    EXCERPT FROM AN ESSAY BY FLYNN at Powells.com

    "With a mother who's the definition of toxic, and a thirteen-year-old half-sister with a finely honed bartering system for drugs, sex, control. In a small, disturbed town, in which two little girls are murdered. It's not a particularly flattering portrait of women, which is fine by me. Isn't it time to acknowledge the ugly side? I've grown quite weary of the spunky heroines, brave rape victims, soul-searching fashionistas that stock so many books. I particularly mourn the lack of female villains — good, potent female villains."

    This is NOT how I saw Flynn's horrible characters. I might be wrong in my assessment of the story. I'll have to revisit this (YUCK) to be certain.

    This work is licensed under a

    .

  • Liz

    The first person narrative meant being in the thoughts of 2 very sick people the whole book and it left me feeling yucky. The author portrayed the minds of sadistic, narcissistic sociopaths making it a very dark book. And for some reason, I actually didn't find anything that happened a surprise.

    That made the story boring which may also have been because I didn't like or care about either of the unrepentant, unenlightened, and self absorbed characters. I just couldn't relate. Even getting some b

    The first person narrative meant being in the thoughts of 2 very sick people the whole book and it left me feeling yucky. The author portrayed the minds of sadistic, narcissistic sociopaths making it a very dark book. And for some reason, I actually didn't find anything that happened a surprise.

    That made the story boring which may also have been because I didn't like or care about either of the unrepentant, unenlightened, and self absorbed characters. I just couldn't relate. Even getting some background on their families didn't engender any sympathy in me for them.

    It is not a satisfying read because there is no hope for these characters, no redemption, no justice for those murdered. As I said: Yucky.

  • Emily May

    3 1/2 stars.

    This is going to be a hard review to write because I feel so conflicted about my final rating and just how much I actually

    this book. For one thing, I think the second half is a big improvement on the first half and, though this is my least favourite book by Ms Flynn, I can see in some ways why other reviewers see this as her strongest work.

    Let me ask this question: is it possible to be objective when writing a book review? Can a book ever be objectively "good", even though som

    3 1/2 stars.

    This is going to be a hard review to write because I feel so conflicted about my final rating and just how much I actually

    this book. For one thing, I think the second half is a big improvement on the first half and, though this is my least favourite book by Ms Flynn, I can see in some ways why other reviewers see this as her strongest work.

    Let me ask this question: is it possible to be objective when writing a book review? Can a book ever be objectively "good", even though some people might not enjoy it so much? To use quite an extreme example, I really struggled to read Proust's

    and can't say I enjoyed it - but that doesn't make it a bad book. Surely I cannot begin to claim that Proust is anything other than a literary genius? I wouldn't want to try.

    I don't think I need to tell you that Flynn is not quite Proust. But some of the same old ideas kept popping into my head while I was reading

    because I think this is the book that most showcases Flynn's talent for writing. And for exploring the dark depths of psychology.

    and

    are wild, gritty, nasty books that pull you in, engage you and poison your mind. You don't devour them, they devour you. I read both of Flynn's previous novels in a day or two. Unlike

    , which I tried to read about five times and gave up, then when I finally came back to it, I took a week to get through it. To put it in perspective, I read

    in the same time it took me to read Flynn's latest work.

    But it's good, isn't it? How can I not praise a book that so cleverly pulls apart the minds of a husband and wife? In terms of writing, creativity, originality... this is her best work to date. In terms of enjoyment... I struggled a lot.

    is much slower than Flynn's first two novels, which is both a strength and a weakness. It allows for a slow, cleverly-painted picture to build up of this marriage and its many secrets, of Amy and Nick's state of mind. It is intense and brilliant. But I think it all comes down to the fact that I didn't care much about the background story of the couple's financial hardship. I think this is why I found the parts where they whine about how awful their life is - moving from a huge house in New York to a slightly smaller one in Missouri* - quite tedious.

    I am used to Ms Flynn giving me the dregs of society, the lowlifes and the majorly-troubled, giving me characters with genuine reasons to complain about life. Spoilt, rich people do not pull at my heartstrings. But,

    , this is a really great book.

    *The trolls have started descending on this review because I got the house sizes mixed up - apparently the house in Missouri was bigger (how this makes a difference other than to further prove my point, I do not know). I'm very sorry if I have influenced you to read/not read this book with false house size information.

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  • Paul Bryant

    I am Amy. I’m so perfect you may want to puke. It’s okay, I have that effect on everyone, even my parents. They noticed I was so perfect when I was a little girl and so they wrote some vastly popular children’s books called

    . You may have been given them to read in school, and you may have puked on them. I am so self-regarding I can’t pass a mirror without congratulating it that it’s reflecting me and not somebody else. I forgot to mention that I have a perf

    I am Amy. I’m so perfect you may want to puke. It’s okay, I have that effect on everyone, even my parents. They noticed I was so perfect when I was a little girl and so they wrote some vastly popular children’s books called

    . You may have been given them to read in school, and you may have puked on them. I am so self-regarding I can’t pass a mirror without congratulating it that it’s reflecting me and not somebody else. I forgot to mention that I have a perfect figure and everybody wants to be my friend. I lived in New York but because I got let go now I have to live with my husband in one of those other states. I forgot its name.

    I am Nick, husband of Amy. I am a six foot something book reading slab of pure thinking woman’s hunkaceousness. Is that a word? Hey, it is now. I got let go from my job in New York as a writer – yeah, I know. And now I got let go from the job of Amy’s husband because she’s disappeared.

    Why am I reading this?

    Is it because you like to read popular thrillers from time to time to curry favour with the voters of your obsessional booky website?

    Well,

    I love Nick.

    I love Amy.

    Although he can be a bastard at times.

    Although she can be a stuck-up bloodyminded princess most of the time.

    I hate Nick.

    I hate Amy.

    Pass me the sick bag.

    Where is Amy? Oh where oh where can she be? Did I say she like just disappeared and shit? It’s why this book is called

    and not

    I don’t care where Amy Dunne has gone. If she’s never heard from again, that’s okay with me. But for what it’s worth, I have a few theories.

    1. Kidnapped by aliens. Although you’d have thought they’d have thrown her straight back.

    2. She’s had plastic surgery and is now the middle Madonna (Vogue era) in a Madonna tribute band.

    3. Nick killed her, even if he says he didn’t, the liar. And ate her.

    4. Amy killed Nick and is pulling off a fabulous feat of transgender impersonation until page 322 when all will be revealed. And ate him.

    5. There never was an Amy. So she’s still here! (Pretty deep, that one.)

    6. Just like in that Agatha Christie book, THEY ALL KILLED HER! And ate her. It wasn’t chicken in that basket.

    Well, I’ll never know. But that’s okay.


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